Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

How to fix a broken iPad screen

No matter how much care we take of our precious smart devices, accidents still happen. As unintentional as these accidents are, more often than not, they lead to a cracked screen — and that can really ruin your day. What can you do to fix your iPad if this happens to you?

Whether you choose to go through the manufacturer, a third-party repair center, or you make the repairs yourself, we’ll walk you through your different options if you break your iPad’s screen.

Working out which iPad components are broken

Apple’s iPad displays are built differently in different generations. Older iPads and iPad Minis feature a glass and digitizer (responsible for the touch sensitivity) assembly and a separate LCD display underneath. The newer generations of iPad and iPad Pro feature a fused glass, digitizer, and LCD or OLED display much like the newer iPhones.

If the glass on your screen is shattered but you can still the image clearly, then it’s likely only your glass/digi assembly is broken and your LCD is intact. If this is the case and you own one of the older generations of iPad, then you’re in luck, because the top glass/digi layer can be replaced without disturbing the LCD panel beneath. If you own one of the newer generations of iPad, then you’ll to replace the entire fused assembly, regardless of which screen components are broken. This, obviously, makes repairing the newer versions much more costly.

Here are some options for fixing damage to your iPad screen.

Call on Apple

Apple store logo
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The first thing to do when you’re faced with a cracked or broken iPad screen is to find out what Apple can do and how much it will cost for the iPad maker to fix its product. Even if your iPad is still under the original one-year limited warranty, accidental damage from your cat nudging it off the kitchen table onto your stone floor at precisely the wrong angle is not covered. Apple — which markets some of the most expensive devices on the planet — also charges an arm and a leg to fix them.

Just how expensive the repairs will be depends on the model of the iPad in question — unless you were prescient enough to purchase an extended two year AppleCare Plus warranty for $99, which covers accidental iPad screen damage among many other things.

Here are Apple’s cost breakdowns for repairing a broken iPad screen with or without an extended warranty.

iPad Pro Repairs

iPad Pro AppleCare+ service fee Out-of-warranty service fee
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation) $49 $649
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) $49 $649
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation) $49 $599
iPad Pro 12.9-inch $49 $599
iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation) $49 $499
iPad Pro 11-inch $49 $499
iPad Pro (10.5-inch) $49 $449
iPad Pro 9.7-inch $49 $379

iPad mini Repairs

iPad mini AppleCare+ service fee Out-of-warranty service fee
iPad mini 5 $49 $299
iPad mini 4 $49 $299
iPad mini 3 $49 $299
iPad mini 2 $49 $199
iPad mini $49 $199

iPad Air Repairs

iPad Air AppleCare+ service fee Out-of-warranty service fee
iPad Air 3 $49 $379
iPad Air 2 $49 $299
iPad Air $49 $249

iPad Repairs

iPad AppleCare+ service fee Out-of-warranty service fee
iPad 7th generation $49 $249
iPad 6th generation $49 $249
iPad 5th generation $49 $249
iPad 4th generation $49 $299
iPad 3rd generation $49 $299
iPad 2 $49 $249

As you can see, the cost of a screen repair is reasonable under Apple Care+ but quite costly without. If you decide to go with Apple, you can order a temporary replacement iPad with Apple’s Express Replacement Service, even before you turn over your cracked device to Apple.

When you send your damaged tablet to Apple to fix, it can take the company three to five business days to send you a temporary replacement. If you have to mail it to Apple, then add a $6.95 shipping fee — or you can tote it to the nearest Apple Store and drop it off for free. You will also be responsible for any applicable taxes.

If you want Apple to fix your broken tablet, you can start a repair request directly from the Apple website. Apple notes that, “If the issue with your iPad was caused by severe damage from an accident or from abuse, you might have to pay the full replacement value.” Despite all that, having Apple fix your broken iPad screen, or replace it, is probably the best option if you can afford it because your fixed iPad is guaranteed to be be brought back to a state close to new.  

While Apple’s automatic one-year limited warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage, some tiny cracks on the screen could be judged as flaws or defects in some cases. It can’t hurt to pop over to a local Apple store to find out if that’s covered. While, ideally, your iPad should be in perfect condition, if the cracks are small enough, you may not have to do anything about them. If Apple won’t cover them under warranty, you could just continue to use your device rather than shell out for an expensive screen repair. In the meantime, you could invest in a protective case or screen protector to prevent further damage.

Third-party repairs

Having a non-Apple employee lay a paw on your cracked screen automatically voids your warranty. However, if your iPad is past warranty already, there are other possibly less expensive options to consider from third-party vendors, many of which are quite reputable. Also consider the nationwide network of Apple Authorized Service Providers, which may be able to give you a price break for an iPad screen fix. But they’re often not cheap either.

When scouting around for a third-party repair company — whether Apple authorized or independent — make sure you have all the information you need before turning over your device, such as cost, time schedule, warranty, and the source of replacement parts. Always check local reviews to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable outfit.

Do it yourself

This option is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re the adventurous type, mechanically inclined, or simply short on cash, some do-it-yourself kits for screen repair are available from iFixIt or on Amazon, and have earned some good reviews from users. Be sure you’re up to the challenge before you start taking your tablet apart. Here are a couple of pointers:

  • If you buy an off-the-shelf screen repair kit, make sure it is designed for the device you are repairing. One size does not fit all and not all devices have repair kits available.
  • Determine whether you cracked the top layer of glass or whether you damaged the touch mechanism or LCD as well. Those are separate categories of damage.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles as you work.

Let’s take a look at a few example DIY kits.


iFixit iPad repair
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As one of the premier vendors for Apple repair, iFixit offers specific repair kits for 16 categories of iPads, which you can identify by model number. The site features a vast variety of teardown and repair videos, replacement kits, tools, and customer support Q&A. For example, the iPad 2 Wi-Fi EMC 2415 Front Panel Replacement, consisting of an iPad Wi-Fi front panel assembly replacement, has a rating of Difficult: It involves 40 steps, takes 1-2 hours, and costs $40. iFixit outlines each step in vast detail, and users can comment and offer advice at each step. Keep in mind that you may accidentally cause damage during the repair that will cost more to fix than having gone to a professional in the first place.


You’ll find lots of kits at Amazon and the prices are low, but the quality of the parts and instructions can vary greatly, so do your homework and check the reviews carefully. Here are a couple of examples:

Touch Screen Digitizer for 2017 iPad 9.7 ($25)

This complete replacement kit for cracked, unresponsive, and non-functioning screens is a perfect match for the 2017 iPad 9.7 inch (model numbers A1822 & A1823). The package includes one touchscreen with a digitizer, tool kit, and instructions. Along with the necessary tools, this option also comes with a clickable home button. One caveat: The replacement button does not support Touch ID. If you want to retain Touch ID functions, you should use the original home button (provided it still works). When it comes down to a choice between a lack of Touch ID versus a completely shattered screen, we know which option we’ll take.

Prokit for New Black iPad 2 Digitizer Touch Screen Front Glass Assembly ($15)

A solution that is custom for the iPad 2, this screen replacement kit comes with a plastic iPad 2 bezel frame and tools. The digitizer includes adhesive and a home button assembly, so you have everything you need to swap out your iPad 2’s broken screen.

Prepare your iPad

Regardless of where you go for repairs — or if you decide to do the job yourself — be sure to back up your iPad before cracking it open. Luckily, much of your data exists in the Cloud anyway. But preserving everything on your iPad requires a bit of planning. You may also consider a factory reset on your iPad before handing it over to a third party. 

Furthermore, you have the option to reset your iPad to protect your privacy. Before you do this, please know that doing so will immediately remove all of your data. This is why backing up your data is so crucial.  In addition, you should know that all Apple replacement devices will also be cleared. If you want to reset your iPad, it’s a relatively quick and straightforward process to carry over your backup data to your other device while you’re waiting on a repair. If you’re someone who has opted for a total replacement, it will be easy to use your backup to begin again. 

You might ask if a repair merits the amount of time and effort involved. It’s essential to consider the price and difficulties of a DIY repair and potential data security concerns when a technician is working on it. Well, if it were apparent whether a repair was deserving of the investment, we wouldn’t have written an enormous blog post wholly dedicated to answering this particular question. 

For those of you who currently have AppleCare and a warranty that’s still kicking, or if your device has only minor damages, we think the most beneficial thing you can do is leave the repair to the pros. If you don’t happen to have AppleCare, you’ll most likely end up with some costly repair expenses. At that point, you’d need to take some time to sit down and compare the price of a replacement with the price of a repair. The good news is, if your screen is broken or cracked, you can use that as justification to purchase the latest iPad.

Editors' Recommendations

Jackie Dove
Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app…
Apple apologizes for its controversial iPad Pro ad
Apple's ad for its refreshed iPad Pro tablet.

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but an ad by Apple for its thinnest-ever iPad has turned into a massive headache for the company.

The 68-second “Crush!” ad for the iPad Pro debuted with the unveiling of the new tablet on Tuesday. It shows a large number of objects such as musical instruments, books, and cans of paint being crushed by a hydraulic press in an apparent effort to demonstrate how it's packed a huge amount of creative potential into an ultra-slim digital device.

Read more
Best Apple deals: Save on AirPods, Apple Watch, iPad, MacBook
Apple MacBook Air M1 open, on a table.

Apple has been a big player in the tech space for a long time, and it has pioneered some of the technology we use today, such as best wireless earbuds and the best smartwatches. If that wasn't enough, it even makes some of the best best laptops and best tablets on the market, so pretty much whatever tech you're looking for, Apple has an excellent version of it. Not only that, but Apple's ecosystem is also easily one of the best available, with only Samsung really competing in that space, and if you're already in the Apple ecosystem, then it makes sense to continue buying stuff from Apple.

Of course, Apple tech can be quite pricey, which is why we've gone out and searched through various big retailers to find you some of the best deals we can find. That includes everything from the MacBook deals, AirPods deals, Apple TV deals and Apple Watch deals to the AirTag, so hopefully, you can find the perfect deal that fits your needs and budget.
Apple AirTag (4-Pack) -- $80, was $99

Read more
Apple made an outrageous change to its new iPads
An official photo of the 2024 iPad Air.

After a year-long drought of iPads, Apple finally revealed the new iPad Air and iPad Pro models during its Let Loose event on May 7. This was a unique announcement because it broke some old traditions; the iPad Air now comes in two sizes: an 11-inch and 13-inch, just like the iPad Pro. But these new iPads are also breaking another longtime tradition: They won’t come with iconic Apple stickers. Gasp.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple Store teams received a memo where Apple explained that the iconic Apple stickers won’t be included inside the boxes of the new iPad Air and iPad Pro. The reasoning? As part of Apple’s environmental goals, it is trying to ensure that its packaging is completely free of plastic.

Read more